Strict blasphemy laws enacted by stealth, group claims (NZ) | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Strict blasphemy laws enacted by stealth, group claims (NZ)

New Zealand has imposed some of the world's strictest blasphemy laws by stealth, a Humanist group says.

The new Harmful Digital Communications Act, intended to stop cyber-bullying, could have the effect of landing a person in jail for two years for committing blasphemy, the New Zealand Humanist Society said this week.

This aspect of the new law was an affront to four in ten Kiwis who weren't adherents of any religion, the group said.

"This legislation not only flies in the face of human rights, but the introduction of yet another law that gives special privileges to religions is unfair, unpopular and unrepresentative of our society, where over 40 per cent of New Zealanders identify as not religious, making this our country's largest single belief group," said Mark Honeychurch, the Society's president.

The Act stated digital communications "should not denigrate an individual by reason of his or her colour, race, ethnic or national origins, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability."

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